Cunningham's Pond

When lamps are lighted in the town and the ships are home from the sea
The old corsairs and the fishermen sing songs of their ancestry
Of Nelson Drake and Jellicoe, long dust of a former time
The old soaks wax on oblivious impelled by the blabsome wine
But of Anvil Torch and Pedestal one day their songs will tell
How into the lists and to history the silent service sailed

With plans to raid the chicken run for oil to grease his wheels
A baleful eye from a northern sky looks down on a pact of steel
Let time efface their memory and collapse the house of cards
Force H has engaged with the enemy and Malta’s standing guard
And while France the age-old chatelaine lies toothless and deflowered
Franco’s Spain can stake no claim as he has no naval power

We seek no wide dominion
No land to take and hold
No slaves no spoil nor steel nor oil
Nor bullion nor gold
No flag to impose or opinion
Nor to map the wild beyond
We seek no fame but to reclaim
Mare Nostrum Admiral Cunningham’s pond

We’re far from the shores of England and English country ways
By Biscay blue and the Straits passed through sculled by the restless waves
We left The Rock full of foreigners Oran a smoking ruin
And the flares we’ll light on Taranto night will shine like a thousand moons
We met them off Cape Matapan and fought through the night and the day
‘Til under our guns in the forenoon they wrecked and broken lay

Masts to starboard masts to port
Massed as far as I can see
Masts in harbour massed off shore
Tonight horizon-bound will be
Sailing off to the distant war
The shifting shapes of ships sailing south to the Inland Sea

Intro. E B F# B
Verse (B E B F# E B G#m F#) x 2 B E G#m B E B F# B
Chorus (G#m F# C#m G#m) x 3 G#m F# G#m F# E
Middle 8 (C#m B) x 2 C#m G#m F# E G#m